Baked Aubergine/Eggplant ‘Baba Ghanoush’ on Bariatric Portion Plate
After a couple of days away to celebrate my birthday it’s good to be home and back cooking some bariatric-friendly style food. I enjoy being fed so don’t imagine for one moment I don’t indulge whilst away and don’t regard food as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (just food) but portion control is where I can falter, so a few days off plan a little is enough for me and I then almost enjoy the ritual of getting back to a regime I feel very safe with.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this seemingly simple looking dish is restrictive, bland or boring – it’s bursting with all the complex flavours of the baba ghanoush dip after which is named and been inspired by. It’s a stuffed aubergine/eggplant bake made with lamb, onion, carrot and chermoula spice blend, served with a fresh courgette/zucchini and mint side salad. It doesn’t need anything else …
It’s the dish I chose to make this evening from scratch but can be made ahead and then baked later for serving if you wish to cut down on last minute prep time. You can also reduce the amount of fat per serving by replacing the hard grated cheese with just a dusting of grated Parmesan – I’m not quite ready for that as yet …
BAKED AUBERGINE/EGGPLANT BABA GHANOUSH WITH MINTED COURGETTE/ZUCCHINI SALAD
low-fat cooking spray or mist
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500 g/1 lb lean lamb mince/lean ground lamb
1 lamb stock cube, crumbled
6 tsp chermoula spice blend (ready mixed or see note below)
75 g/¾ cup low-fat hard cheese, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh mint (about a handful of stalks), finely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/gas 7.
- Slice the aubergines/eggplant in half lengthwise then cut diagonal criss-crosses into the flesh, 1 cm/½ inch apart. Cut the flesh deeply but avoid piercing the skin. Spritz with low fat cooking spray or mist. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until soft and slightly browned.
- Meanwhile, spritz a non-stick pan with low-fat cooking spray or mist. Heat, add the onion and carrot and cook gently for about 5 minutes to soften. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the lamb. Cook, breaking up the meat until it is no longer pink. Add the crumbled stock cube and chermoula spice with a small splash of water, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Once the aubergine/eggplant is cooked (the flesh should be very tender and soft) remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, keeping the skin intact.
- Mix the aubergine flesh with the lamb and taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Preheat the grill/broiler to high.
- Fill the aubergine/eggplant skins with the lamb mixture and sprinkle with the cheese. Grill/Broil until the tops are golden.
- To make the side salad – cut the courgette/zucchini into strips with a peeler and place in a bowl. Add the oil and mint and toss to mix.
- Serve the baked aubergine/eggplant with the salad and a lime wedge to squeeze over the salad.
WLS PORTION: ½
CALORIES PER PORTION: 392
NOTE: I used a ready mixed chermoula spice blend but you can make your own and store in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place. Mix 2 tbsp ground cumin with 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1-1½ tsp chilli powder (to taste), 1½ tsp ground sweet paprika, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¾ tsp ground allspice, ¾ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp turmeric and ½ tsp cayenne.
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